Crimea has become part of Russia. The first hysterical reaction of US is over, now it starts to seek more balanced approaches. The policy of imposing sanctions against Russia has proven to be ineffective. Russia has become part of world economy in recent years and its contribution is enough to make the sanctions backlash. Now the West’s policy on Ukraine and Russia has started to acquire new traits. Zbignew Brzezinski and former US ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul have put forward some ideas. For instance, McFaul writes in his article Confronting Putin’s Russia that the US should make a strategic pivot and switch from cooperation to solation, «during World War II and the Cold War, the United States and our allies can cooperate with Mr. Putin when our vital interests overlap. But this engagement must be understood as strictly transactional, and not as a means to pull Russia back into accepting international norms and values. That’s how he will see this engagement. So should we». According to him, while imposing sanctions, the US should choose selective containment and cooperate in certain areas where it has interest in Russia’s taking part. He believes the US should make Russia be left alone without allies. He recommends «Nurturing Chinese distance from a revisionist Russia is especially important, as is fostering the independence of states in Central Asia and the Caucasus». Brzezinski also offers the policy of containment and deals. Right after the coup in Kiev he published an article in the Financial Times offering «Finlandization» as the best option for Ukraine making the country get close to the European Union while keeping away from joining NATO and maintaining good neighborly relations with Russia while receiving certain guarantees from the West.
On March 19 Zbignew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft, former National Security Advisor, talked about Russia and Ukraine at a round table organized by CSIS in Washington. Brzezinski repeated the hackneyed thesis that Moscow may become the capital of new empire. He said the US should try to convince President Putin that it is not going to drag Ukraine into NATO. Ukraine may have a European soul, but it will take it a long time to become a NATO and EU member…The US should be ready for a reasonable compromise. No doubt the US is to prepare a plan B, but it should try to have a constructive dialogue with Russia.
According to Brzezinski, Ukraine should not join the EU and NATO at a time; it should adopt a phased approach.
Actually, Russia is offered:
– To agree with gradual rapprochement of Ukraine with NATO;
– To maintain close economic partnership with Ukraine based on division of labor and, actually, provide funds for Ukraine’s European integration;
– To abstain from lending a helping hand to Russians in Ukraine, no matter how repressive the Kiev junta may become, in exchange for normalization of relations between Kiev and Moscow.
The Obama’s administration is ready to put up with the fact that Crimea becomes part of Russia in exchange for Russia’s refusal to defend its vital interests in Ukraine, including in the south-eastern part of the country…
Former President Jimmy Carter said on March 25 that Obama could not have done anything to stop Putin from annexing Crimea. «I think that was a foregone conclusion», Carter said. «He [Putin] was going to do it regardless of the consequences. I think now, that's far enough». He added, «I don't think there was any way to separate Crimea permanently from Russia». He recalled when Nikita Khrushchev gave the peninsula to Ukraine in the 1950s when both countries were a part of the USSR. «I don't think that President Obama or anyone else could have done any more to prevent crisis in Crimea. We have to draw the line there between additional expanse of Russia into Ukraine», Carter concluded.
Moscow is believed to accept the following: once the West has brought to power pro-European forces in Ukraine, it should become a guarantor of normal relations between Moscow and the new regime in Kiev in exchange for formal non-aligned status of Ukraine concerning its relationship with NATO.
The promises of this kind are empty words. First, the process of Ukraine’s rapprochement with NATO started a long time ago; the West’s perfidy became obvious after it refused its own obligations under the February 21 agreement, now no guarantees of the West related to the status of Ukraine could be trusted.
The peoples of Russia and Ukraine have the same roots, actually multiple intermarriages make them one nation. The plan put forward by Brzezinski on the «neutral» status of Ukraine with semi-fascist junta at the helm is outright anti-Russian and contradicts Russian interests. There are principles to abide by. Neither Crimea, nor Ukraine or its separate parts could ever be bargaining chips for Russia…
There are people who want Russia to forget its interests in Ukraine make the Ukrainian territory a springboard for attacking Russia and install intelligence gathering facilities near the Russia’s borders while the population in the south-eastern parts of Ukraine should made forget its national identity.
Obviously it is unacceptable to Russia, what leads us to two conclusions:
1. Russia should offer its own agenda to make its interests taken into consideration. The issues, which are not offered for discussions, should be excluded. Russia’s participation in tackling some international problems, that cannot be solved without it, should be agreed on with strings attached – the West refuses double standards in interstate relations. It’s necessary to make the United States accept equal partnership.
2. There is only one way to make the West take Russia’s interests into consideration – to demonstrate the unshakable will of Russian leadership to defend the national interests, as well as the interests of allies, including the brotherly nation of Ukraine.